Dear “Easter People – Alleluia”!
Recently, the cover of Time Magazine presented a question: “Is Truth Dead?” In the depth of our hearts we might want to immediately respond, “NO”, but then a pause for reflection might lead us to ask the question posed by Pilate to Jesus: “What is truth?” Pilate found no fault with Jesus, but the crowd was pushing him and he was trapped when Jesus announced that He had come to bear witness to the truth which leaves Pilate confused. However, as the crowd pressed in on him, Pilate became afraid, but his heart was being moved as he recognized the Truth in front of him, but lacked the courage to follow the Truth and to stay with the conviction of his experience. We know this dilemma, when a choice needs to be made and we allow our fear and the predicament to lead us where we would not want to go. We abandon the Truth, and like Pilate, we know the path that leads to a newness of life and we just lost it.
In the celebration of Easter, we know with faith and hope that the “Truth” has risen from the dead and our response to the cover on Time is NO, the Truth is not dead. Yes, of course, the drama that we face in the world and the flippant manner of saying one thing and contracting the alternative facts in the next moment have become part of the scheme that appears empty with no truth, just games and chaos. While this approach seems to be prevalent around the world, we cannot be so influenced by this mentality of shallowness, otherwise we reduce the Resurrection to nothingness; just one more reality spoken and it has no consequence in my life, really!!
In this climate of multiplying words in a meaningless manner, I turn to a question posed by Pope Francis: What is the difference between optimism and hope? Francis immediately answers with a voice of confidence: “Optimism disappoints and Hope never disappoints”. We are captured by optimism and while we cannot conclude it is inappropriate, we do need to pay attention and discover that we are saved in hope and faith is hope. We are preoccupied with speculation as we grasp optimism, speculation abounds in every instant, but the pain of life knocks on every door and optimism will disappoint as we try to figure out the right response. Hope is so much deeper as we surrender to the “dying and rising” of everyday life and trust in faith that Jesus walked this path; he descended into the kingdom of death and he has returned as the Risen Lord, to accompany us now in every circumstance.
We have certainty in the future that comes from the Easter sacraments, from the present truth of our lives as we search for His face in the real, the concrete life that we meet every day. The Mystery of Love risen from the dead is not automatic as we desire to experience His presence now, but it is a work of paying attention and continuously asking for ever greater completeness. Pope Benedict in his letter on hope reminded us: “Faith draws the future in to the present, so that it is no longer simply a “not yet”. The fact that this future exists changes the present; the present is touched by the future reality, and thus the things of the future spill over into those of the present and those of the present in to those of the future.”
The present and the future being one is not abstract as we have been celebrating the Mysteries these past days and the lives of people are changed and renewed. I am so grateful to our entire staff, to all the volunteers at every level and ministry, which includes all the liturgical music and a thousand details at every turn, but all pointing in the direction of knowing the Truth and the Truth is present: Alleluia!! Alleluia!!
A blessed and Happy Easter,
Father Jerry Mahon